If you ask people what they most value in a job right now, stability and security might come out on top. In a year when so many have experienced furloughs or permanent job loss due to COVID-19, holding down a job where you don’t have to constantly worry about layoffs sounds like a miracle. A recent report by the Wall Street Journal estimated that hundreds of companies that received Paycheck Protection Plan loans over the spring and summer still ended up filing for bankruptcy. The unemployment rate has been slowly shrinking since hitting a high of 14.7% in April; in October, it was around 6.9%. But this number doesn’t include people who have given up their job search and dropped out of the workforce for the time being, and recently, the rate of new jobs added to the economy has been slowing down.
Today, Glassdoor released a new report on job predictions for 2021, which includes the 20 jobs that have the worst outlooks in the coming year — provided that we still don’t have a widely-disseminated vaccine — based on how much job openings have declined during the pandemic.
Glassdoor’s report contains other work trend predictions for 2021 too. It suggests that, in a post-vaccine world, more people will adopt a hybrid remote work model rather than remaining fully remote or going back to the office full-time. It also estimates that as the number of a company’s remote workers increases — during COVID, some have been moving away from big cities to less expensive, less densely populated areas — it will become the norm to adjust salaries based on location. If you’re a software engineer who used to live in San Francisco and now you live in Ohio, for example, Glassdoor predicts that you could face a pay cut of almost 25%.
Ahead are the 10 most at-risk jobs in 2021, if the virus continues to threaten the economy. With promising signs of a vaccine, however, we hold onto hope that the outlook for these at-risk jobs improves.
Audiologist - 70% decline
An audiologist is a healthcare professional that deals with hearing, ear, and balance issues. While it’s a job that pays well and had a great growth outlook prior to COVID-19, it was heavily impacted by the virus. According to a survey by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), in spring about 73% of audiologists surveyed said they were experiencing lower demand.
Event Coordinator - 69% decline
Event coordinator jobs have declined tremendously in an age when in-person events have had to be cancelled. But while event coordinators probably haven’t been planning things like film festivals and professional conferences since March, their skills are important and useful in many other applications — as shown by an events company that pivoted from building stages for Coachella to setting up field hospitals. While things look dire for this industry right now, it’s also possible that COVID could usher in a bigger market for digital events and digital event planners.
Product Demonstrator - 63% decline
Product demonstrators may be your favorite people at any store — they show off how a product works or hand out delicious samples of food. But, again, since product demonstrators rely on interacting physically with potential customers and offering a tangible look at how a product works, these roles have seen a sharp downturn in the past year.
Optician - 61% decline
Opticians — the professionals who help fit your prescription glasses or contact lenses – have seen a downturn in demand with people putting off their non-emergency vision needs until it’s safer to go outside again. The industry was also in limbo because some states categorized them as essential businesses during lockdown while others didn’t.
Chef - 56% decline
The restaurant industry has been among the hardest-hit industries during COVID-19. In June, Yelp reported that over half of restaurants that closed temporarily when lockdowns first began had closed permanently, leaving many restaurant workers to look for jobs in other fields. The demand for personal chefs, however, has actually gone up recently.
Executive Assistant - 55% decline
Executive assistants manage the lives of busy executives, whether it’s setting and organizing their calendar, budgeting and accounting, assisting with reports or projects as needed, and much more. And while the pandemic has affected the number of open executive assistant positions, these jobs were on the decline before COVID-19.
Beauty Consultant - 53% decline
Beauty consultants work in shops that sell makeup and other beauty products and help advise customers on which product is right for them. Early on in the pandemic, people started worrying whether it would be safe to test makeup samples in stores. With so much less foot traffic in stores, there’s been a sharp decrease in beauty consultant roles since March.
Valet - 51% decline
With the leisure hospitality industry so drastically impacted by the virus, companies are also hiring far less valets. In a survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association conducted in September, 67% of hotels said they would only last six months under current conditions without government relief. A McKinsey analysis from June projected that the industry might not recover to pre-COVID conditions until 2023.
Stylist - 50% decline
Stylists of all kinds, including hair stylists, fashion stylists, lash stylists, or pet stylists, have been impacted by lockdown measures. Like so many other things, we really took professional haircuts for granted, and many of us have been turning to DIY hair care during these interminable quarantine months. That’s being reflected in the demand for stylist jobs right now, which has been halved compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Coach - 47% decline
The NBA bubble might have allowed coaches to keep working, but many others – whether sports coaches, personal coaches, career coaches — have been unable to. Face-to-face mentoring isn’t very safe right now, and clients who’ve experienced a loss in income may be cutting back on services like coaching during this time.